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MOROCCO 2015 HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Morocco is a constitutional monarchy under which ultimate authority rests with
King Mohammed VI, who presides over the Council of Ministers. The king may
dismiss ministers, dissolve parliament, and call for new elections or rule by decree.
International and domestic observers judged the 2011 parliamentary elections
credible and relatively free from irregularities. The Party of Justice and
Development (PJD) won a plurality of seats in the 2011 elections. As mandated by
the constitution, in 2011 the king chose the PJD to lead the governing coalition.
During the year the government began to implement its “advanced regionalization”
plan, devolving certain budgetary and decision-making powers to locally elected
bodies. This also allowed for the direct election of certain local and regional
government officials for the first time. Civilian authorities failed at times to
maintain effective control over security forces.
The most significant continuing human rights problems were the lack of citizens’
ability to change the constitutional provisions establishing the country’s
monarchical form of government, corruption, and widespread disregard for the rule
of law by security forces.
A variety of sources reported other human rights problems. These included
security forces committing human rights abuses on multiple occasions, including
reports of torture in detention. Prison and detention conditions were substandard.
The judiciary lacked independence and sometimes denied defendants the right to a
fair public trial. Pretrial detention frequently exceeded what the law allows.
Domestic and international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) asserted there
were political prisoners, many of whom authorities reportedly detained under the
antiterrorism law. The government abridged civil liberties by infringing on
freedom of speech and press, including by harassing and arresting of print and
internet journalists for reporting and commenting on issues sensitive to the
government; limited freedom of assembly and association, and restricted the right
to practice one’s religion. There was discrimination against women and girls.
Trafficking in persons and child labor continued to occur, particularly in the
informal sector.
There were few examples and no high-profile reports of investigations or
prosecutions of abuse or corruption by officials, whether in the security services or

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elsewhere in the government, which contributed to the widespread perception of
impunity.
Section 1. Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including Freedom from:
a. Arbitrary or Unlawful Deprivation of Life
There were no reports that the government or its agents committed arbitrary or
unlawful killings.
b. Disappearance
There were no reported cases of politically motivated disappearance during the
year. An August 2014 report from the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention
stated it had received accusations “from sources deemed to be credible” that
disappearances continued to occur in direct violation of the constitution, which
provides for human treatment of prisoners and detainees, although it did not give
specific examples.
Regarding unresolved cases of disappearance dating to the 1970s and 1980s, the
National Council on Human Rights (CNDH), an institution created and funded by
the government to promote human rights and increase monitoring, continued to
investigate claims of enforced and involuntary disappearance and, when warranted,
recommended reparations in the form of money, health care, employment, or
vocational training. According to the CNDH, there were140 cases of
disappearances in process through legal channels and seven cases unresolved at
year-end. During the last several years, the CNDH shifted its activities in this
regard to community reparation projects and social rehabilitation programs. The
CNDH continued to review open claims for reparation and occasionally received
new claims, especially in Western Sahara. (For more information on reparation
claims in the territory, see the Department of State’s 2015 Country Reports on
Human Rights for Western Sahara.)
c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or
Punishment
The constitution and the law prohibit such practices, and the government denied it
used torture. The law defines torture and stipulates that all government officials or
members of security forces who “make use of violence against others without
legitimate motive, or incite others to do the same, during the course of their duties
Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015
United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor

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shall be punished in accordance with the seriousness of the violence.” A 2006
amendment to the law provides a legal definition of torture in addition to setting
punishments for instances of torture according to their severity. The government
also enacted measures designed to eliminate torture. For example, in November
2014 the government adopted the Optional Protocol to the Convention against
Torture, with the CNDH filling the role of investigative organ for the prevention of
torture. Government institutions and NGOs, however, continued to receive reports
about the mistreatment of individuals in official custody.
A May 19 report by Amnesty International (AI), Shadows of Impunity: Morocco
and the Western Sahara, claimed that, based on more than 150 interviews between
2010 and 2014, while torture may no longer be an officially state-sanctioned
practice, “an array of torture techniques are used by Moroccan security forces to
extract confessions to crimes, silence activists, and crush dissent.” The report
concluded that police and security forces over this period routinely inflicted
beatings, asphyxiation, stress positions, simulated drowning, and psychological
and sexual violence. An AI representative went on to say, “there is a gap between
what’s on paper and what’s in practice. Torture is not systematic but common.
The safeguards that exist currently are not being implemented.” Additionally, the
report noted that a lack of investigations into, and prosecutions of, individuals
accused of torture contributes to a “climate of impunity.”
In 2013, at the invitation of the government, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary
Detention visited prisons in Sale, Tangier, Tetouan, Casablanca, and Laayoune in
Western Sahara. The group’s report, released in August 2014, stated that “in cases
related to state security, such as cases involving terrorism, membership in Islamist
movements or supporters of independence for Western Sahara, the Working Group
on Arbitrary Detention found that there was a pattern of torture and mistreatment
during arrest and in detention by police, in particular agents of the National
Surveillance Directorate.”
In the event of an accusation of torture, the law requires judges to refer a detainee
to a forensic medical expert when the detainee or lawyer requests it, or if judges
notice suspicious physical marks on a detainee. According to governmentprovided data, there were 13 cases of alleged police torture presented to the legal
system during the year, although authorities did not provide specific examples.
The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, human rights NGOs, and media
documented prominent cases of authorities’ failure to implement provisions of the
antitorture law.
Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015
United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor

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During the year the government announced several cases where it conducted
investigations into allegations of torture. For example, in January independent
Arabic-language daily Akhbar al-Youm al-Maghrebiya reported that Minister of
Justice Mustapha Ramid ordered judicial police of Casablanca to investigate the
accusations of torture made by a man imprisoned in the Ain Qadous penitentiary in
Fes. The man, arrested by authorities on charges of drug trafficking, accused
police in Fes of forging records of his arrest and interrogation and of torturing him
during interrogations. The accuser stated that authorities held him with handcuffs
behind his back throughout the investigation and that police subjected him to
physical violence, which led him to lose consciousness. He added that he did not
make the declarations appearing in the accusation records and that he had signed
them under threat of torture. In another example, local media reported that in
March the regional command of the royal gendarmerie sent a commission
consisting of 16 members to the Tamaslouht gendarmerie center in the region of
Marrakech to investigate complaints against two gendarmes accused of mistreating
three brothers in the gendarmerie’s facilities. There were no further updates on
these cases at year’s end.
Despite several investigations into torture, there were no reported cases of
authorities punishing any individuals during the year. Moreover, in several cases
complainants received two- and three-year sentences and fines for making “false
allegations of torture” and “reporting a crime that the complainant knows has not
been committed.” In its May report, AI asserted that in the past 12 months, eight
such individuals faced legal sanctions for “making false allegations of torture.” In
August 2014 authorities sentenced Wafae Charaf, a human rights and political
activist, to two years in prison and a fine of dirhams 50,000 ($5,025) for allegedly
falsely reporting being abducted and tortured by unknown persons; she remained in
prison at year’s end.
On December 30, according to international press sources, UN international
peacekeeping troops, including from Morocco, were listed as participants in
sexually abusing young girls as they were queued to vote in elections in the Central
African Republic. The Royal Armed Forces of Morocco opened a criminal
investigation on the soldiers involved. The investigation continued at the end of
the year.
Prison and Detention Center Conditions
Prison conditions remained poor and generally did not meet international
standards.
Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015
United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor

and failed to meet local and international standards. Local NGOs asserted that prison facilities did not provide adequate access to health care and did not accommodate the needs of prisoners with disabilities. Some human rights activists asserted the prison administration reserved harsher treatment for Islamists who challenged the king’s religious authority and those accused of “questioning the territorial integrity of the country. The government reported that in cases where a juvenile court judge rules that their detention is necessary. although government sources stated that each prisoner received an average of six consultations with a medical professional per year. Prisoners lodged complaints about the quality of food. resulting in authorities frequently holding pretrial detainees and convicted prisoners together. convicted after the 2010 dismantling of the Gdeim Izik Camp and subsequent violence in Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015 United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy. The government attributed problems of overcrowding to an increase in prison population over the last several years. 14 en route to and 82 in a hospital. including sexually. older inmates. a severe backlog in cases. Human rights groups reported that other minors. minors less than 14 years of age were detained separately from minors for 15-18 years of age. prone to violence. but authorities held a number of minors with adults. According to government sources and NGOs. The government reported that 119 inmates died in prison during the year. and lack of judicial discretion to reduce the length of prison sentences for specific crimes. prison overcrowding is due in large part to an under-utilized system of bail or provisional release. The law provides for the separation of minors. particularly in pretrial detention in ordinary prisons and in police stations.MOROCCO 5 Physical Conditions: The Moroccan Observatory of Prisons continued to report that prisons were overcrowded. due to the shortage of juvenile prison facilities. There was less overcrowding in the women’s sections of gender-segregated facilities. NGOs frequently cited cases where prisoners protested the conditions of their detention with hunger strikes. and prison guards abused young offenders. with a concurrent decline in the overall budget for prisons. Government sources stated that a further complication was that administrative requirements prevented prison authorities from transferring individuals in pretrial detention to facilities outside of the jurisdiction where their trials are to take place.” The Sale 1 Prison held 21 of the prisoners. Human Rights and Labor . specifically the availability of meat. considered political prisoners by NGOs. Prisons were overcrowded. Local human rights NGOs could not confirm these numbers. friends and family frequently were called upon to supplement prisoners’ diets with the delivery of food baskets.

The CNDH reported that during the year. While authorities generally permitted relatives and friends to visit prisoners. Detainees could submit complaints without censorship. investigated allegations of inhuman conditions. It received testimonies of torture and mistreatment and observed the deteriorating health conditions of some of them due to prison conditions. In one of these referred cases. educational. of those eight prisons. Authorities did not implement alternatives to imprisonment for nonviolent offenders. created and funded by the government. and a system of “letterboxes” existed in prisons to facilitate prisoners’ right to submit complaints regarding their imprisonment continued operating. it received 79 complaints alleging torture in eight different prisons. Independent Monitoring: The government permitted some NGOs with only a human rights mandate and the International Committee for the Red Cross to conduct unaccompanied monitoring visits. or religious services to prisoners to enter prison facilities. government authorities reported completion of 10 new detention facilities during the year. The Mohammed VI Foundation for the Reinsertion of Prisoners provided educational Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015 United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy. there were reports that the authorities denied visiting privileges in some instances. the CNDH referred four to the public prosecutor. and prison authorities reported that NGOs conducted 258 prison visits during the first six months of the year. Government policy permitted NGOs that provided social. including alternatives to incarceration for nonviolent offenders. The 2014 report of the UN Working Group on Torture indicated its members met with 22 of those prisoners in the Sale 1 Prison. The government reported increasing the number of number of vocational and educational training programs it administers in prisons. which they are in the process of filling. but there were serious irregularities in the records. The CNDH and the DGPAR effectively served the function of an ombudsman. the remaining three are under investigation. Administration: Prison administration recordkeeping was adequate. and the Prison Administration (DGPAR). Improvements: To alleviate overcrowding. the public prosecutor’s office ordered that two prison officials be prosecuted.MOROCCO 6 Laayoune. Human Rights and Labor . in addition to regular prison monitoring visits conducted by the CNDH. as well as to the CNDH. The CNDH. a government institution. particularly in the administrative records of those in police custody. Complaints were brought to the DGPAR Delegate General’s Office for processing.

The Auxiliary Forces also report to the Ministry of Interior and support gendarmes and police. The government reported that enrollment in “reinsertion” programs increased during the year. with 11.MOROCCO 7 and professional training to inmates on the verge of release. International and domestic human rights organizations claimed that authorities dismissed many complaints and relied only on the police version of events. The National Police manage internal law enforcement and report to the Ministry of Interior. and there were reports of abuses and impunity. held detainees beyond the statutory deadline to charge them. Nonetheless. Role of the Police and Security Apparatus The security apparatus includes several police and paramilitary organizations with overlapping authority. Systemic and pervasive corruption undermined law enforcement and the effectiveness of the judicial system.782 individuals enrolled in literacy programs. is responsible for law enforcement in rural regions and on national highways. Civilian authorities failed at times to maintain effective control over the security forces. Both the Royal Gendarmerie and the judicial police report to the royal prosecutor. prosecution. which reports to the Administration of National Defense. An Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015 United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy. d. with 3144 beneficiaries in 2015. and failed to identify themselves when making arrests. the UN Human Rights Council’s Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and other observers indicated that police did not respect these provisions or consistently observe due process. 7. Impunity was pervasive in the absence of effective mechanisms to investigate and punish abuse and corruption. Two associations won prominent court decisions or had these court decisions enforced after local Ministry of Interior offices refused permits for the routine operations of associations. operating four “reinsertion” centers providing job-skills training. or punishment of officials who committed such abuses. Human Rights and Labor .009 individuals in educational programs up to university level. Arbitrary Arrest or Detention The constitution prohibits arbitrary arrest and detention. The Royal Gendarmerie. police sometimes arrested persons without warrants. Authorities provided no official data about government investigation. such as the organization of events or submission of paperwork to renew branch offices’ registration. According to local NGOs and associations. The Department of Royal Security is a branch of the National Police and reports to the king.

In March authorities informed another organization. Reports of abuse or torture generally referred to these initial detention periods.” For normal crimes authorities can extend this 48-hour period twice. [the officer] can keep them in custody for a maximum of three days with the written authorization of the prosecutor. with an optional extension of 12 hours with the approval of the Prosecutor’s Office. Arrest Procedures and Treatment of Detainees Police may arrest an individual after a general prosecutor issues an oral or written warrant. but authorities did not consistently respect that provision. the Judicial Police Officer has the right to keep the suspect in detention for 48 hours. that it had received status as a registered NGO. although information about the internal and/or external mechanisms to investigate security force abuses is not publicly available. the Sahrawi Association of Victims of Grave Human Rights Violations Committed by the Moroccan State (ASVDH). The law provides for access to a lawyer in the first 24 hours after arrest in ordinary criminal cases. for up to six days Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015 United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy. however. when police interrogated detainees. Authorities investigated some low-level incidents of alleged abuse and corruption. in January authorities sentenced two highway policeman near the southern city of Tantan to a month in jail and a 2. The government announced it had conducted a number of training initiatives on human rights during the year. Authorities did not systematically prosecute security personnel who committed human rights abuses. in compliance with a 2005 decision by a court in Agadir requiring the government to grant its registration request. In one example of a successful prosecution for low-level corruption. If strong and corroborated evidence is raised against this person. The law permits authorities to deny defendants’ access to counsel or family members during the initial 96 hours of detention under terrorism-related laws or during the initial 24 hours of detention for other charges. in cooperation with the CNDH. The law states that “in the case of a flagrant offense.000 dirhams ($200) fine after authorities found a video of them accepting a bribe from a tourist. Human Rights and Labor . mechanisms to enforce the implementation of human rights norms among law enforcement were lacking. Cases often languished in the investigatory or trial phases.MOROCCO 8 administrative court in Temara ruled on December 30 that the Ministry of Interior had acted inappropriately in refusing to receive a petition by the Moroccan Association of Human Rights (AMDH) to renew their permit to operate a local branch in the city.

A bail system exists. Human Rights and Labor . The August 2014 report of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention noted that. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015 United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy.MOROCCO 9 in detention. The amount of the deposit is left to the discretion of the judge. Bail may be requested at any time before the judgment. authorities have arrested undocumented migrants. authorities did not inform lawyers promptly of the date of arrest. took them to a police station. The government failed to provide persons awaiting deportation--who were not under the authority of the prison system--with information about the reasons for their arrest or conditions of their detention (see section 2. Arbitrary Arrest: Security forces often arrested groups of individuals. Because authorities sometimes delayed notifying the family. In nonterrorism cases the law requires police to notify a detainee’s next of kin of the arrest as soon as possible after the initial 36-hour period of incommunicado detention. the deposit may be in the form of property. Under a separate military code. unless arresting authorities applied for and received an extension from a magistrate. Authorities did not always provide effective counsel. military authorities may detain members of the military without a warrant or public trial. such as provisional release. According to the law. Police did not consistently abide by this provision. According to the Antiterrorism Act. NGO sources stated that some judges were reticent to use alternative sentences permitted under the law. questioned them for several hours.). and released them without charge. there is no right to a lawyer during this time except for a half-hour monitored visit at the midpoint of the 12-day period (see section 1.). and they were not able to monitor compliance with detention limits and treatment of the detainee. In some instances judges released defendants on their own recognizance. During the year observers widely perceived a new law on counterterrorism as consistent with international standards. if a defendant cannot afford private counsel. Under terrorism-related laws. who decides the amount of the deposit depending on the offense.d. detained them. a prosecutor may renew the initial detention by written authorization for a total detention time of 12 days. The law does not require written authorization for release from detention. authorities must provide a court-appointed attorney when the criminal penalty exceeds five years in prison. and escorted them to the borders or otherwise expelled them without an opportunity to exercise their rights.d. or as a sum of money paid into court in an effort to persuade the judge to release a suspect. contrary to law. all defendants have the right to attorneys.

Government officials. The government reported that 40. lengthening the amount of time to process cases on average. but the courts were not independent. prosecutors may request as many as five additional two-month extensions of pretrial detention. especially for those protesting the incorporation of Western Sahara into the country. defendants are informed promptly of their charges before their trial. NGOs. The decision-making process for granting royal pardons remained opaque. The outcomes of trials in which the government had a strong political stake. the number of releases that were pardons was unknown. Pretrial detentions can last as long as one year. the king granted 4. In some cases detainees received a sentence shorter than the time they spent in pretrial detention. The Foreign Ministry stated that a variety of factors contributed to this backlog: a lack of resources devoted to the justice system. and the scant use of mediation and other out-of-court settlement mechanisms allowed by law.498 royal pardons.9 percent of detainees were in pretrial detention. but this did not always occur. releases. Denial of Fair Public Trial The constitution provides for an independent judiciary. There are no juries. e. particularly in juvenile matters. indicated that. and the Western Sahara. Trial Procedures The law presumes that defendants are innocent. judges ignored the question of culpability and focused on sentencing. although clients frequently maintained their innocence. Authorities sometimes failed to respect court orders. and there were reports that authorities routinely held detainees beyond the one-year limit. both human and infrastructure.MOROCCO 10 Pretrial Detention: Although the government claimed that authorities generally brought accused persons to trial within two months. such as those touching on the monarchy. Amnesty: The king continued selectively to exercise his ability to grant pardons or sentence reductions to those convicted of crimes. or sentence reductions. Government officials attributed these delays to the large backlog of cases in the justice system. according to government figures. During the year. and lawyers widely acknowledged that corruption and extrajudicial influence weakened judicial independence. After an initial investigation period in which the order of a prosecutor can detain individuals. Human Rights and Labor . The law provides for the right to a fair public trial with the right of appeal. appeared predetermined. the lack of plea bargaining as an option for prosecutors. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015 United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy. Islam as it related to political life and national security. Attorneys.

NGOs reported that the judicial system relied heavily on confessions for the prosecution of criminal cases. met them only at the first hearing before the judge. some judges reportedly denied defense requests to question witnesses or to present mitigating witnesses or evidence. By law defendants in criminal and human rights cases have access to government evidence against them. According to authorities. the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention noted that authorities convicted and sentenced to prison “many” individuals in detention solely based on confessions obtained under duress. AI stated that authorities still used inhuman practices to obtain confessions.MOROCCO 11 Defendants have the right to be present at their trial and to timely consultation with an attorney. Many NGOs provided attorneys for minors. in the majority of cases. The government did not consider any of its prisoners to be political prisoners and stated that it had convicted or charged all individuals in prison under criminal law. who frequently did not have the means to pay. paid them poorly. Such resources were limited and specific to larger cities. that there was a substantial number of political prisoners held across the territory and in internationally recognized Morocco. Human Rights Watch (HRW) and local NGOs charged that judges. however. The law forbids judges from admitting confessions made under duress. if provided at public expense. This practice often resulted in inadequate representation. Political Prisoners and Detainees The law does not define or recognize the concept of a political prisoner. Human Rights and Labor . decided cases based on forced confessions. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015 United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy. at their discretion. Defense attorneys often were neither properly trained in matters pertaining to juveniles nor provided to defendants in a timely fashion. In practice authorities often denied lawyers timely access to their clients and. The law permits defense attorneys to question witnesses. NGOs alleged this occurred frequently in cases against Sahrawis or individuals accused of terrorism. police sometimes used claims regarding detainees’ statements in place of defendants’ confessions when there was a possible question of duress. Despite the provisions of the law. In a report published in May. In its August 4 report. Human rights groups and groups advocating Western Sahara’s independence alleged. and that authorities pressured investigators to obtain a confession from a suspect in order for prosecution to proceed. but judges sometimes prevented or delayed access. Authorities did not appoint attorneys in all cases or.

however. and stripped him naked to give the appearance of his having engaged in adultery with his married though separated partner.000 dirhams ($4. Authorities retransmitted to the CNDH for resolution cases specifically related to allegations of human rights abuses against authorities.” The hearing for presentation of charges was postponed and had not taken place at year’s end. Sahrawi organizations. such lawsuits were frequently unsuccessful due to the courts’ lack of independence on politically sensitive cases. they sentenced him to 10 months in prison and a 40. Mansouri’s attorney claimed that policemen entered his home on the evening of March 17. covers nonviolent advocacy and dissent. A National Ombudsman’s Office (Mediator Institution) helped to resolve civil matters that did not clear the threshold to merit involvement of the judiciary. including “receiving foreign funding without notifying the General Secretariat of the government” and charges of “threatening the internal security of the state. On April 3. a journalist and project manager for the Moroccan Association for Investigative Journalism (AMJI). Under the law adultery is punishable with up to a year in prison. Human Rights and Labor . or lack of impartiality stemming from extrajudicial influence and corruption. Civil Judicial Procedures and Remedies Although individuals have access to civil courts for lawsuits relating to human rights violations and filed lawsuits. in March police arrested Hicham Mansouri. NGOs. asserted that the government imprisoned persons for political activities or beliefs under the cover of criminal charges. He was also scheduled to be tried on November 19 as part of a group of investigative journalists under investigation for a number of potential charges. The government selectively permitted access to alleged political prisoners by international human rights or humanitarian organizations.020) fine. For example. it gradually expanded the scope of its activities and subjected complaints to in-depth investigation. and Amazigh activist groups. Mansouri’s attorney alleged that the charges were politically motivated as. There are administrative as well as judicial remedies for alleged wrongs.MOROCCO 12 Criminal law. beat Mansouri. on charges of adultery. The Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015 United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy. Additionally. authorities convicted Mansouri of adultery and starting a brothel. he was reportedly working on a report regarding alleged internet surveillance of activists and journalists by the authorities. including the Moroccan Association for Human Rights. such as insulting police in songs or “defaming Morocco’s sacred values” by denouncing the king and regime during a public demonstration. at the time of his arrest.

Mamfakinch. the institution of the monarchy. which documented the 2012 hacking of the independent media platform they helped create. The January publication Their Eyes on Me: Surveillance in Morocco by Privacy International recounted incidents of alleged harassment of individuals and citizen journalists covering topics sensitive to the government. Hisham Almiraat. monitored without legal process personal movement and private communications--including e-mail. with punishments ranging from fines to jail time. and the government’s official position regarding territorial integrity and claim to Western Sahara. or Correspondence The constitution states an individual’s home is inviolable and that a search may take place only with a search warrant. authorities at times entered homes without judicial authorization. Such criticism can result in prosecution under the Penal Code. however.” Some evidence in the case against him and others reportedly came from the journalists’ account in the Privacy International report.MOROCCO 13 CNDH continued to be a conduit through which citizens expressed complaints regarding human rights abuses and violations. The report provided accounts of unannounced visits by state officials to the families of individuals whose personal computers. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy. but did not distinguish between criminal or civil charges. Human Rights and Labor . f. and works were allegedly hacked and phones allegedly tapped. Section 2. Authorities postponed the November 19 trial of former advocacy director of Global Voices. or other digital communications intended to remain private--and employed informers. Including: a. Family. Freedom of Speech and Press The constitution and law generally provide for freedom of speech and press. text messaging. although it criminalizes and restricts some freedom of expression in the press and social media--specifically criticism of Islam. International and domestic human rights groups Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015 United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy. Respect for Civil Liberties. websites. and a group of fellow investigative journalists to March 23. Government-provided figures for the year showed that 23 journalists or media outlets faced charges for breaches of the national Press Code. This number included cases that the government initiated as well as private citizens’ libel complaints. Home. under investigation for reportedly “threatening the internal security of the state” and “receiving unreported foreign funds.

officials such as those in the military. Self-censorship and government restrictions on sensitive topics remained serious hurdles to the development of a free. libel. insulting employees during the exercise of their work. and libel against an organized institution. Freedom of Speech and Expression: The law criminalizes and the government actively prosecuted persons who criticized Islam. On March 23. independent. and the government’s official position regarding territorial integrity and claim to Western Sahara. The government also enforced strict procedures governing NGO representatives and political activists meeting with journalists. and insults. the institution of the monarchy.MOROCCO 14 criticized criminal prosecutions of journalists and publishers as well as of libel suits. Human Rights and Labor . The antiterrorism law and press code include provisions that permit the government to jail and impose financial penalties on journalists and publishers who violate restrictions related to defamation. which appeared to show members of security forces demanding bribes from foreign tourists and Moroccan citizens. due to leaked videos. and investigative press. The government principally used these laws to restrict independent human rights groups and the press and social media. Authorities may impose prison sentences on those convicted of libel. Press and Media Freedoms: The antiterrorism law and press code include provisions that permit the government to jail and impose financial penalties on journalists and publishers who violate restrictions related to defamation. Prosecutors sometimes indefinitely delayed cases leaving journalists and publishers free on bail but understandably hesitant to pursue follow up or new politically sensitive stories. Consequently. but did Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015 United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy. and insults. Authorities filed charges of libel and other violations of the criminal code against specific journalists. state institutions. For example. Bouchaib Armil. self-censorship remained prevalent. with prosecution of these charges indefinitely delayed. the government brought politically motivated investigations against human rights activists under Article 206 of the Penal Code that criminalizes the receipt of indirect support from abroad to finance an activity capable of undermining citizens’ “allegiance” to constitutional institutions or of shaking their loyalty to the state. Foreign journalists needed. libel. authorities arrested online journalist Adil Karmouti on charges related to “public defamation. Authorities may impose prison sentences on those convicted of libel.” This charge referred to the General Directorate of National Security after Karmouti criticized the organization and its head.

Maati Monjib conducted a 21-day hunger strike in response to the travel ban and what he referred to as a campaign of “official harassment. Political Prisoners and Detainees). On February 1. and investigative press. officials also barred them from leaving the country to attend international conferences. Violence and Harassment: Authorities subjected some journalists to harassment and intimidation.e. due to assertions that AMJI was under criminal investigation for funding irregularities.” In October authorities lifted the travel ban. Human Rights and Labor .020) (see section 1. Publications and broadcast media must also obtain government accreditation. and the investigation continued at year’s end. While the government rarely censored the domestic press. international observers believed the ban to be politically motivated.000 dirhams ($4.MOROCCO 15 not always receive. approval from the Ministry of Communication before meeting with political activists. authorities arrested AMJI member Hicham Mansouri on charges of “participation in adultery” for which authorities convicted him. in September authorities barred AMJI member Maati Monjib from traveling to a conference in Barcelona. the government initiated the travel ban at the request of a prosecutor as part of an investigation into the group’s finances. sentenced him to 10 months in prison. In September. The press code lists threats to public order as one of the criteria for censorship. The government may deny and revoke accreditation as well as suspend or confiscate publications. authorities detained two French journalists at the Rabat headquarters of the AMDH while they were filming an interview for a television Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015 United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy. On March 17. including attempts to discredit them through rumors about their personal life. Journalists reported that selective prosecutions served as a mechanism for intimidation. According to authorities. Officials targeted members of the Moroccan Association for Investigative Journalism (AMJI) during the year. and fined him 40. Authorities detained and questioned several members. Censorship or Content Restrictions: Self-censorship and government restrictions on sensitive topics remained serious hurdles to the development of a free. it exerted pressure by pursuing legal cases that resulted in heavy fines and suspended publication. Such cases encouraged editors and journalists to self-censor.. independent. In a related example.

57 percent of the population used the internet. Abdellatif el Hammouchi.” According a 2014 World Bank estimate. The government used the same tools to restrict expression on the internet as it does for the print media. to a four-month suspended sentence for allegedly defaming the head of the General Directorate of National Security. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015 United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy. an activist who died in police custody in May 2014. the personal secretary of King Mohammed VI. or violence.000 dirhams ($10.MOROCCO 16 documentary for France 3 on economic conditions in the country. the government did not block or filter any websites during the year. On February 2. National Security: The antiterrorism law provides for the arrest of journalists and filtering websites deemed to “disrupt public order by intimidation.050) or face imprisonment.250) in restitution to Mounir Majidi. For example. The report noted that “the general atmosphere of fear has increased selfcensorship. but it did apply laws and restrictions governing speech and the press to the internet. although laws on combatting terrorism permit the filtering of websites. and insults.000 dirhams ($51.ma to pay a fine of 20. in June a court of first instance ordered news website Goud. El Mehdaoui had published an article about the death of Karim Lachaqr. The defense lawyer claimed that the law on defamation applies only to those who first published material rather than those that cited it. authorities expelled the journalists for working without authorization. in which the website cited comments from another media outlet’s article. the journalists maintained that authorities had not responded to their request for authorization. According to a 2015 Freedom House report.” The press code includes provisions that permit the government to jail and impose financial penalties on journalists and publishers who violate restrictions related to defamation. Human Rights and Labor . which referred to Majidi in his capacity as a businessman. The case stemmed from a press review published early in the year.000 dirhams ($2. The court ordered both him and his source (not a journalist) to pay combined damages of 100. editor of the news website Badil. on June 29. Libel/Slander Laws: Authorities filed charges of libel and other violations of the criminal code against specific journalists. libel. For example. terror. Internet Freedom The government did not restrict or disrupt access to the internet. a Casablanca court sentenced Hamid El Mehdaoui.010) for slander and 500.

Human Rights and Labor . state institutions. Civil society organizations reported that authorities disrupted an increased number of events during the year. transgender. and intersex (LGBTI) advocacy organization Aswat (“voices” in Arabic) to celebrate International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. after the date of the conference. In the absence of this authorization. sometimes with excessive force. gay. accordingly. Groups of more than three persons require authorization to assemble. Islam. entitled “The Penal Code: Is Love a Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015 United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy.MOROCCO 17 There are no specific laws or body of judicial decisions concerning internet content or access. Individuals and groups self-censored and generally carefully adhered to restrictions on expression and. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association Freedom of Assembly The law conditions the right to assemble publicly on acquiring Ministry of Interior permission. engaged in peaceful exchanges of views via the internet. although the government generally provided more latitude to political and religious activism confined to university campuses. or the status of Western Sahara. The law restricts cultural events and academic activities. bisexual. The government used administrative delays and other methods to suppress or discourage unwanted peaceful assembly.” According to authorities. the government initiated the travel ban at the request of a prosecutor as part of an investigation into the group’s finances. many international observers believed the ban to be politically motivated. On August 31. Academic Freedom and Cultural Events By law the government has the right to criminalize presentations or debate questioning the legitimacy of the monarchy. authorities informed AMJI cofounder and academic Maati Monjib of an international travel ban preventing him from participating in a Barcelona conference on “transitions in the Arab World. In October authorities lifted the travel ban. Some NGOs complained that authorities did not apply the approval process consistently. authorities disbanded meetings organized by groups ranging from reformers to the national union of judges. The Ministry of Interior approved appointments of university rectors in keeping with the Organic Law on Nominations to High Functions. police forcibly dispersed a May 16 event organized by prominent lesbian. For example. b. including by e-mail.

The Cervantes Institute in Rabat cancelled another Aswat event scheduled for the following day after the institute’s management received “pressure” not to permit the event to proceed. According to a HRW report issued in late August. and the government tolerated their activities. and in June the courts provisionally freed nine of the men. but there was no comprehensive national register publicly available. If the organization does not receive a receipt within 60 days. The government denied official recognition to NGOs that it considered as advocating against the monarchy. bylaws. address. The ministry issues a receipt to the organization that signifies formal approval. and photocopies of members’ identification cards to the ministry. The Ministry of the Interior required NGOs to register. authorities arrested one member of Aswat. with a number of activities indefinitely postponed when authorities prevented suitable local facilities from being available whenever the group sought to use them. The individuals filed an appeal.025) to the AMDH in relation to the illegal cancellation of one of their events in September 2014. HRW reported that in one example in April. police allowed many protests demanding political reform and protesting government actions. The government prohibited or failed to recognize political opposition groups by deeming them unqualified for NGO status. Human Rights and Labor . it is not formally registered. they attacked and severely beat protesters.” On May 22. however.MOROCCO 18 Crime?” Reportedly. authorities prevented AMDH from holding more than 60 of their events during the year. pending the final review of their appeals. Freedom of Association The constitution and the law provide for freedom of association. A prospective organization must submit its objectives. In January a court ordered the Ministry of Youth and Sport to pay a settlement of 50. Several organizations the government chose not to recognize functioned without the receipts.000 dirhams ($5. According to HRW’s World Report 2015. authorities sentenced the men to prison terms of up to one year with the court relying on similarly worded confessions--which the accused disavowed during their trials. or territorial integrity. A number of civil society contacts reported increased instances when private event spaces abruptly cancelled bookings citing official pressure not to allow “controversial” activities on their premises. In 2005 the ASVDH won an administrative Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015 United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy. but on some occasions. authorities arrested 11 men demonstrating for reform in Casablanca and accused them of “hitting and insulting police. although the government placed severe restrictions on this freedom. Islam as the state religion.

Authorities continued to monitor Justice and Charity Organization activities.) Protection of Refugees The government cooperated with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other humanitarian organizations in providing protection and assistance to refugees. including the demilitarized zone in Western Sahara.gov/religiousfreedomreport/. Internally Displaced Persons. there were no instances of forced exile during the year.MOROCCO 19 court judgment confirming that its applications for registration conformed to the law. which they found controversial. and other persons of Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015 United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy. Exile: While the law provides for forced exile.state. Freedom of Movement. asylum seekers. (For more information see the Department of State’s 2015 Country Reports on Human Rights for Western Sahara. Human Rights and Labor . Authorities generally respected this right. returning refugees. Freedom of Religion See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report at www. Unregistered organizations could not access government funds or legally accept contributions. In March the government announced that it had completed the registration of ASVDH ordered by an Agadir court in 2005. and there were no reported cases of authorities preventing Sahrawis from traveling. Emigration and Repatriation: The government encouraged the return of Sahrawi refugees if they acknowledged the government’s authority over Western Sahara. and Stateless Persons In-country Movement: The law provides for freedom of internal movement. Authorities continued to deny registration to many other organizations. Authorities in general were reluctant to permit registration of organizations supporting self-determination for Western Sahara. d. Protection of Refugees. although the government restricted movement in areas regarded as militarily sensitive. c. The government continued to make travel documents available to Sahrawis.

the Commission in Charge of Hearings for Asylum Seekers at the Bureau of Refugees and Stateless Persons had submitted 577 persons for recognition of refugee status. In February media sources reported that 5.” On February 9. as well as migrants. Simultaneously. The government has historically deferred to UNHCR as the sole agency in the country entitled to grant refugee status and verify asylum cases. While a government-sponsored appeals commission exists.700 regularization applications were submitted. and NGOs reported that authorities at times deported migrants without recourse to legal counsel and sometimes to countries other than their country of origin. were particularly vulnerable to abuse. Duration of stay was the most common basis of claim for regularization. with the government stating that it recognized two types of asylum status: refugees designated according to the UNHCR’s statute and the “exceptional regularization of persons in irregular situation. In 2014 the government conducted a yearlong campaign to regularize the status of the large transitory migrant population in the country. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015 United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy. citing it as a potential incentive for further migration. of mass arrests and brutalization by security forces of sub-Saharan migrants and of abuse by criminal gangs involved in human trafficking. stating that authorities would dismantle migrant camps around the Spanish enclaves. There were reports of government authorities arresting or detaining migrants. UNHCR reported arrests of migrants and asylum seekers during the year. Authorities later stated it would not renew the regularization program. Access to Asylum: The law provides for refugee status. approximately 18.000 persons and relocating them to various locations in the south. and forcibly relocating them to other cities in the country (see section 1. Minister of Interior Mohammed Hassad announced the end of the migrant regularization program. security forces raided migrant camps in the forests of Nador.250 Syrians received status through the 2014 regularization campaign. particularly around the Spanish enclave cities of Melilla and Ceuta. Refugee Abuse: Refugees and asylum seekers. some of whom UNHCR had recognized as refugees.MOROCCO 20 concern. There were periodic reports. near the Spanish exclave of Melilla.000 timely submitted applications remained unclear according to International Organization of Migration.). The government reported that as of September 21. Meanwhile. According to government and international media reports. Human Rights and Labor . it has not operated since July 2014. the status of approximately 9.d. arresting more than 1. particularly in the north.

and citizens participated in. the results of which require the king’s approval or a bill submitted by the king that receives two-thirds majority approval from both legislative chambers can amend the constitution.MOROCCO 21 Access to Basic Services: Recognized refugees were able to gain access to health care services. Freedom to Participate in the Political Process Citizens do not have the ability to change the constitutional provisions establishing the country’s monarchical form of government. Regional and professional bodies indirectly elected members of parliament’s Chamber of Counselors. often unable to access the national health-care system and continued to have little access to the judicial system. Observers reported that the children of beneficiaries of the regularization program had access to the education system and other social benefits. however. The law provides for. The constitution obliges the king to choose the prime minister from the party with the most elected seats in the Chamber of Representatives. the country held direct elections for municipal and regional councils. and religion remain within the purview of the king. the supreme decision-making body. who presides over the Supreme Security Council and the Ulema Council (Council of Senior Religious Scholars). The king presides over the Council of Ministers. Matters of security. The king may dissolve parliament in consultation with the head of government (prime minister) and can rule by decree. free elections based on universal suffrage for parliament’s Chamber of Representatives and municipal and regional councils. Asylum seekers were. except in cases when he delegates that authority to the head of government. the king appoints the head of government. As head of state. although they serve at the king’s pleasure since he has the power to dismiss them. Royal advisors worked closely in undefined coordinating roles with government ministries. The constitution authorizes the prime minister to nominate all government ministers. although implementation of this aspect of the regularization program was inconsistent. Elections and Political Participation Recent Elections: On September 4. strategic policy. regular. A national referendum. Section 3. These were the first elections to define electoral districts Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015 United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy. Human Rights and Labor .

but authorities largely excluded them from senior decision-making positions. Political Parties and Political Participation: Political parties faced fewer government-imposed restrictions under the revised constitution. There were reports of mostly petty government corruption. The law prohibits basing a party on a religious.425 domestic observers. A political party may not legally challenge the institution of the monarchy. Participation of Women and Minorities: Female politicians featured prominently in media on a variety of matters. ethnic. presided over by the CNDH with the participation of the Interministerial Delegation for Human Rights. Several of the king’s senior advisors were women. There was a widespread Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015 United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy. as well as in the legislative and judicial branches. although very few subsequently won leadership positions on the councils in later internal elections. The Ministry of Interior applied laws that made it easier for political parties to register. Corruption and Lack of Transparency in Government The law provides criminal penalties for official corruption. Officials often engaged in corrupt practices with impunity. Following a government reshuffle in October. The 2015 elections increased participation of women in the Chamber of Counselors from 2 percent to 12 percent. the Central Instance for the Prevention of Corruption (ICPC). Corruption was a serious problem in the executive branch. the upper house of parliament. regional and professional bodies elected members of the Chamber of Counselors. or regional identity. The major political parties and the vast majority of the domestic observers considered the elections free. but authorities investigated few cases and successfully prosecuted none during the year. and five domestic associations accredited 3. or the country’s territorial integrity. On October 2. fair. Human Rights and Labor . but the government did not implement the law effectively. and transparent.MOROCCO 22 according to the 12 “regions” set out by the government’s regionalization scheme. a plan designed to accord a greater amount of authority to local officials. Islam as the state religion. the 39member cabinet included six women. The government-sponsored CNDH was the lead institution monitoring the election. two ministers and four ministers delegate. An additional 76 international observers took part in election monitoring. Section 4. Most international observers considered them credible elections in which voters were able to choose freely and deemed the process relatively free of irregularities. including police. Voters elected a record number of women in the September 4 municipal and regional council elections. The Electoral Accreditation Commission.

and three were awaiting judgment in their cases. which is responsible for monitoring and verifying disclosure compliance. observers considered corruption a serious problem. including the June inauguration of a new hotline to receive public tips about instances of corruption. Observers noted widespread corruption in the police force. The king. the ICPC received 400 formal complaints or denunciations in 2014 (7 percent fewer than in 2013).000 to 5. The government announced during the year new measures designed to tackle corruption.000 dirhams ($100 to $500). and members of parliament to submit financial disclosure statements to the High Audit Institution. but they did not pursue any high-profile cases during the year. Corruption: The ICPC is responsible for combating corruption. of which 12 were sentenced to two months in prison and fines ranging from 1. Financial Disclosure: The law requires judges. Many members of the well-entrenched and conservative judicial community were loath to adopt new procedures.or high-level corruption. But according to allegations from government transparency groups. with the government reporting that only one official during the year was the subject of a judicial inquiry.MOROCCO 23 perception of serious government corruption. many officials did Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015 United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy. with insufficient governmental checks and balances to reduce its occurrence. and that did not result in charges. who has made statements calling for judicial system reform since 2009. Human Rights and Labor . The ICPC forwarded to the general prosecutor 37 cases of corruption in 2014 and 14 in 2015. Legal penalties for corruption were rare. the Ministry of Justice and the High Audit Institution (government accountability court) had jurisdiction over corruption issues. which reportedly resulted in 10 arrests. During the year 24 gendarmes were the subject of judicial investigations. Government sources stated that the most common type of corruption in the country was fraud related to government procurement contracts. acknowledged the judiciary’s lack of independence and susceptibility to influence. The government claimed to investigate corruption and other instances of police malfeasance through an internal mechanism. Generally. In addition to the ICPC. ministers. According to government figures. In May parliament adopted a constitutionally mandated law providing the ICPC with the authority to compel government institutions to comply with anticorruption investigations and published it in the Official Bulletin in July. one has been sentenced to four months in prison. but few reports of mid.

The government insisted that HRW must make “clarifications” to the government in a meeting before the government would allow HRW to resume activities. who arrived the previous day to conduct an investigation into the treatment of sub-Saharan migrants and asylum seekers. however. There were no public outreach activities regarding public access to information. An open letter by Minister of Communications Mustapha El Khalfi. researcher on refugee and migrants’ rights in Europe. including foreign media.” On June 9. There are no effective criminal or administrative sanctions for noncompliance.MOROCCO 24 not file disclosures. The government and HRW claimed they had sent requests to each other to establish meetings. the government ordered HRW to suspend its activities. published in the Wall Street Journal. Governmental Attitude Regarding International and Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations of Human Rights Groups investigated and published findings on human rights cases.” despite previous assurances to AI that they would be able to conduct their investigation. stated the suspension was due to that organization’s persistent “bias” in reporting on human rights conditions in the region. in May the release of an AI report on the continued use of abusive practices in detention facilities triggered a large-scale official media reaction sharply criticizing the report’s evident “bias. and restrictions on domestic and international human rights organizations varied. On September 29. Public Access to Information: There is no freedom of information law. cooperation with. but the issue remained unresolved at year’s end. but authorities did not provide a dedicated access mechanism. authorities expelled John Dalhuisen. the government’s responsiveness to. AI’s director for Europe and Central Asia. Public officials received no training on access to information. Authorities asserted they did not have the “requisite permission necessary to conduct their research. and Irem Arf. For example. leading to the cancellation of a regional retreat for HRW staff in Casablanca and its relocation to Tunisia. depending on its evaluation of the political orientation of the organization and the sensitivity of the issues. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015 United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy. The government rarely granted access to official information to citizens and noncitizens. Section 5. The constitution provides for citizen access to information held by public institutions. Human Rights and Labor . in a separate incident.

the legally recognized umbrella organization dealing with prison conditions. as well as with the Moroccan Prison Observatory. acted as a more general ombudsman. During the year authorities announced the CNDH would also fulfill the role of monitoring mechanism for preventing torture. the government resorted to restricting the use of public spaces and conference rooms. In many ways the council filled the role of a national social ombudsman. Additionally. as well as informing the proprietors of private spaces that certain activities should not be welcome. The mission of the Interministerial Delegation for Human Rights is to promote the protection of human rights across all ministries. The Mediator Institution. it produced reports during the year criticizing government practices in allowing for freedom of expression and assembly as well as women’s rights. The CNDH served as the principal advisory body to the king and government on human rights. Human Rights and Labor . which received indirect government funding. serve as a government interlocutor with domestic and international NGOs. or refer cases to the public prosecutor. During the year the government occasionally met with and responded to inquiries and recommendations from both groups. and interact with relevant UN bodies regarding international human rights obligations.MOROCCO 25 The government recognized several domestic human rights NGOs with national coverage. still shared information informally with both the government and government-affiliated organizations. According to the AMDH. Government Human Rights Bodies: There were three governmental human rights entities. authorities prohibited 75 of its scheduled activities between June 2014 and March. propose disciplinary action. Many activists reported that rather than banning activities outright. It considered allegations of governmental injustices and had the power to carry out inquiries and investigations. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015 United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy. and the AMDH were the largest domestic human rights organizations. During the year activists and NGOs reported increasing restrictions on their activities in the country. The Moroccan Organization for Human Rights. which replaced the Office of Grievances. Some unrecognized NGOs that did not cooperate officially with the government. in keeping with the government’s international obligations.

regional origin. The constitution mandates the creation of a body to promote gender equality and resolve parity issues--the Authority for Equality and the Fight against All Forms of Discrimination--but authorities did not fashion implementing legislation for the body by year’s end. no survey on the subject has been conducted since 2009. Human Rights and Labor . of which 598 were committed by domestic partners. Discrimination occurred nonetheless based on each of these factors. Nonetheless.510). although the study based these figures on the 2009 survey. faith. successful prosecutions were rare.000 dirhams ($1. such as the Democratic League for Women’s Rights. Police were slow to act in domestic violence cases. the prison sentence ranges from 10 to 20 years. when the conviction involves a minor. Police selectively investigated cases.055 cases of violence against women during the year. Spousal rape is not a crime. numerous articles of the penal code pertaining to rape Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015 United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy. social status. Women Rape and Domestic Violence: The law punishes men convicted of rape with prison terms of five to 10 years. with 349 of those involving domestic partners. estimated that husbands perpetrated eight of 10 cases of violence against women. culture. revealed that 63 percent of women reported suffering an act of violence in the preceding year. The Moroccan Woman. A sexual assault conviction may result in a prison sentence of up to one year and a fine of 15.469 instances of violence against women in 2014. and Trafficking in Persons The constitution prohibits discrimination based on race. Overall. by the Numbers. the numbers were 3.MOROCCO 26 Section 6. An amendment to the family code disallows rapists’ exoneration through marriage to their victims. language. Prior to 2014. Government sources stated that the Royal Gendarmerie dealt with 9. disability. Societal Abuses. Discrimination. Domestic violence was widespread. Victims did not report the vast majority of sexual assaults to police due to social pressure. Statistics on rape or sexual assault were unreliable due to underreporting. among the minority brought to trial. rapists could avoid punishment by marrying the victim. or any other personal circumstance. respectively. and the government generally did not enforce the law. which would most likely hold the victim responsible. Various domestic advocacy groups. gender. husbands committed 56 percent of reported cases of violence against women. A Bureau of Statistics 2013 planning publication.

were also available to provide assistance and guidance to victims. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015 United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy. According to NGOs the courts rarely prosecuted perpetrators of low-level misdemeanors. women’s NGO representatives. Physical abuse was legal grounds for divorce. Services for victims of violence in rural areas were generally limited to those provided by local police. Police generally treated domestic violence as a social rather than a criminal matter. A small number of groups. lawyers. the Democratic League for Women’s Rights. that these shelters were not accessible to persons with disabilities. A few NGOs made efforts to provide shelter for victims of domestic abuse. and childcare. Human Rights and Labor . Counseling centers existed exclusively in urban areas. The law does not specifically prohibit domestic violence against women. Domestic violence mediation generally occurred within the family. despite 2009 revisions to the family law. Low-level misdemeanors occur when victims suffer disability for less than 20 days. There were reports. Women’s shelters were not government funded. The government operated hotlines for victims of domestic violence. Many domestic NGOs worked to advance women’s rights and promote women’s issues. The government also reported that in 2014 it had dedicated more than 11 million dirhams ($1. and the Moroccan Association for Women’s Rights. Courts had “victims of abuse cells” that brought together prosecutors. NGOs also promoted literacy and taught women basic hygiene. however. although few women reported such abuse to authorities.MOROCCO 27 perpetuate unequal treatment for women and provide insufficient protection. and hospital personnel to review domestic and child abuse cases to provide for the best interests of women or children according to proper procedure. the Union for Women’s Action. judges. Among these were the Democratic Association of Moroccan Women. but the general prohibitions of the criminal code address such violence. such as the Antitrust Network and the Democratic League for Women’s Rights. Women choosing legal action generally preferred pursuing divorce in family courts rather than criminal prosecutions. Statistics provided by the government indicated that it provided direct support to 50 counseling centers for female victims of violence as part of a broader effort to support projects benefitting women in society. By law high-level misdemeanors occur when a victim suffers injuries that result in 20 days of disability leave from work. All advocated enhanced political and civil rights for women.1 million) to outreach programs to women regarding their rights. family planning.

social pressure against contraceptive use. or severe deformation. lack of knowledge about availability of services. and limited availability of transportation to health centers and hospitals for those in rural areas.000 dirhams ($503 to $5. although the law allows victims to sue employers. however. and environmental affairs. expanding existing legislation that allowed abortion in case of danger to the life of the mother. compared with 16 percent in 2009. NGOs reported widespread sexual harassment contributed to the low rate of female participation in the labor force. and have access to the information and means to do so. incest. According to the government.000 live births in the country in 2013 and that 58 percent of women between the ages of 15 and 49 used a modern method of contraception in 2014. including for sexually transmitted infections. Skilled health attendance at delivery and postpartum care were available for women who could afford it.MOROCCO 28 Sexual Harassment: Sexual harassment in the workplace is criminal only when it is an abuse of authority by a superior. Authorities did not effectively enforce laws against sexual harassment. political. The law does not require equal pay for equal work. although the total number of violent acts was extremely low and likely not representative of the real number of incidents in the country. Reproductive Rights: Individuals and couples have the right to decide the number. cost of services. In May the government passed a law authorizing abortion in cases of rape. only a few did so. and most forms were widely available. figures from the Civil Service Ministry stated that women held 29 percent of official posts in the country. free from discrimination. or violence. Most feared losing their job as a result or worried about proving the charge. coercion. spacing. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015 United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy. The most recent UN statistics showed there were approximately 120 maternal deaths per 100. economic. manage their reproductive health. 025). cultural. Statistics were not clear on the percentage of women in the workforce. Discrimination: The constitution provides women equal rights in civil.000 to 50. Authorities generally did not discriminate against women in accessing sexual and reproductive health care. Human Rights and Labor . Violations are punishable by one to two years’ imprisonment and a fine of 5. with approximately 74 percent of overall births attended by skilled health personnel. The major factors influencing maternal mortality and contraceptive prevalence rates were female illiteracy. and timing of their children. as stipulated by the penal code. Contraception is legal.

determined by sharia (Islamic law). enforcement of these property laws remained inconsistent. Despite lobbying by women’s NGOs. the CNDH called for reform of the country’s inheritance laws to provide for legal equality in inheritance. Human Rights and Labor . According to the law. Women’s NGOs continued to press the government to codify women’s rights in formal legislation. In October the CNDH issued a report citing continued widespread gender inequality and advocating reforms in line with the constitution. The 2004 reform of the family code did not change inheritance laws. as many judges did not agree with their provisions. The report made a number of recommendations. A sole male heir would receive the entire estate. If a woman is the only child. During the year the CNDH published a report criticizing the state of women’s rights in the country. Corruption among working-level court clerks and lack of knowledge about its provisions among lawyers were also obstacles to enforcement of the law. including creation of an independent and empowered Authority for Gender Parity and Fighting All Forms of Discrimination. implementation met considerable resistance from men in certain areas of the country. and relatives receive the other half.” The authorities used this section to return women involuntarily to abusive homes. makes divorce available by mutual consent. including that the government reform the system of inheritance away from religious-based rules and ensure equality of men and women. as well as changes to the family code. she receives half. varies depending on circumstances. Implementation of family law reforms remained a problem. In its October report on the state of women’s rights. and places legal limits on polygamy. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015 United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy. which the constitution does not specifically address. The penal code criminalizes “knowingly hiding or subverting the search for a married woman who is evading the authority to which she is legally subject. The government followed with training for local authorities on the implementation of the land allocation process. The judiciary lacked willingness to enforce them. women are entitled to a one-third share of inherited property.MOROCCO 29 Numerous problems related to discrimination against women remained. The Ministry of Interior further pressed for local enforcement of women’s entitlement to collective land rights. A Muslim woman’s share of an inheritance. including equal inheritance rights for women. While ministry decrees carry the force of law. Widespread female illiteracy also limited women’s ability to navigate the legal system. Under sharia daughters receive half of what their brothers receive. The family code places the family under the joint responsibility of both spouses. but it is less than that of a man.

and victims of Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015 United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy. human rights groups. There were. cases in which authorities denied identification papers to children because they were born to unmarried parents. In cases of undocumented children. homeless children. economics. and the environment. Undocumented children could not register for school. magistrates. Prosecutions for child abuse were extremely rare. with a number reserved specifically for girls. during the year representatives of the Ministry of Interior refused to register the births of some children whose parents sought to give Amazigh names. The government led some efforts to improve the status of women in the workplace. Education: Education is free and compulsory through age 15.MOROCCO 30 There were few legal obstacles to women’s participation in business and other economic activities. and the UN Children’s Fund claimed child abuse was widespread. Children Birth Registration: The law permits both parents to pass nationality to their children. The Ministry of Youth and Sports managed child protection centers. however. The process of obtaining necessary identification papers was lengthy and arduous. Human Rights and Labor . According to some entrepreneurs and NGOs. an institution that was being developed jointly between the parliament and the CNDH but remained unimplemented at year’s end. there were no conclusive government statistics on the extent of the problem. The constitution provides for the equal status of women in the realms of civics. especially in urban areas. NGOs. most notably the constitutional mandate for the creation of an Authority for Gender Parity and Fighting All Forms of Discrimination. politics. but the centers were used to house delinquents. According to press reports. nonetheless. Anecdotal evidence showed that abuse of child domestic servants was a problem. Authorities originally intended the centers to provide an alternative to prison for underage delinquents. Girls’ representation in education in recent years improved significantly. women had difficulty accessing credit and owning and managing businesses. Rural women faced restrictions on education and employment opportunities for social and cultural reasons. social relations. Trade unions did not have women represented in leadership positions. culture. and attorneys advocated for the children. media outlets. Child Abuse: Although NGOs.

550 dirhams ($960) to 344. Convicted rapists and pedophiles are not eligible for pardons. The judiciary approved the vast majority of petitions for underage marriages. The penal code also provides punishment for child pornography. Moreover.state. Early and Forced Marriage: The legal age for marriage is 18. and other “children in distress” who had not committed a crime. and the government provided them appropriate security. Children engaged in prostitution.gov/ilab/reports/child-labor/findings.state.600). Reports of anti-Semitic acts were rare. Sexual Exploitation of Children: The age of consent is 18. but parents. This mingling of children in conflict with the law and children in distress also occurred during other stages of the process. For information see the Department of State’s report on compliance at travel. Child marriage remained a concern. Trafficking in Persons See the Department of State’s Trafficking in Persons Report at www. Some centers housed minors convicted of homicide alongside minors who were victims of domestic abuse. Jews generally lived in safety. and the country was a destination for sex tourism. Anti-Semitism Community leaders estimated the size of the Jewish population at 4. While the budgets of the centers were low.000 dirhams ($34.gov/content/childabduction/en/country/morocco. persons convicted of sexual exploitation may lose their national rights and right of residence for between five and 10 years. Penalties for sexual exploitation of children range from two years’ to life imprisonment and fines from 9. International Child Abductions: The country is a party to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.html and countryspecific information at travel.state. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015 United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy.gov/content/childabduction/en/legal/compliance.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/. drug addicts.000.MOROCCO 31 domestic violence. conditions varied because some centers received charitable gifts. may secure a waiver from a judge for underage marriage.dol. with informed consent of the minor. Human Rights and Labor .html. Also see the Department of Labor’s Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor at www.

to a much lesser extent. and mental disabilities in employment. handicap-accessible bathrooms. although some survived by begging. the codes exempt most pre-2003 structures. intellectual. claimed some Amazigh heritage. Families typically supported persons with disabilities. educational institutions. The government did not effectively enforce or implement these laws and regulations.MOROCCO 32 Persons with Disabilities The law prohibits discrimination against persons with physical. Family. Approximately 60 percent of the population. Authorities made no progress toward passing a law to implement the constitutional provision making Amazigh an official language. While building codes enacted in 2003 require accessibility for all persons. sensory. including the royal family. and Solidarity has responsibility for protecting the rights of persons with disabilities and attempted to integrate persons with disabilities into society by implementing a quota of 7 percent for persons with disabilities in vocational training in the public sector and 5 percent in the private sector. French and Amazigh materials were available in the news media and. and special seating areas. Both sectors were far from achieving the quotas. Human Rights and Labor . Official languages are Arabic and Amazigh. The law also provides for regulations and building codes that provide for access for persons with disabilities. Basic governmental services in this mountainous and underdeveloped region were not extensive. Government policy provides that persons with disabilities should have equal access to information and communications. Tashelhit. but private charities were primarily responsible for integration. The government maintained more than 400 integrated classes for children with learning disabilities. National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities Many of the poorest regions in the country. The government provided television programs in the three national Amazigh dialects of Tarifit. Amazigh cultural groups contended they were rapidly losing their traditions and language to Arabization. The Ministry of Social Development. although Arabic predominates. particularly the Middle Atlas region. although the national rail system offered wheelchair ramps. Most public transportation was inaccessible to persons with disabilities. education. and authorities rarely enforced them for new construction. and access to health care. Special communication devices for the blind and deaf were not widely available. and Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015 United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy. were predominantly Amazigh and had illiteracy rates as high as 80 percent.

Antidiscrimination laws do not apply to LGBTI persons. The government reported that it offered Amazigh language classes in the curriculum of 30 percent of schools. and the penal code does not criminalize hate crimes.” Authorities arrested them for publicly kissing in the proximity of Hassan Tower in Rabat. physical violence. and Other Abuses Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity The penal code criminalizes consensual same-sex sexual activity with a maximum sentence of three years in prison. authorities sentenced two men to three months in prison and a fine of 500 dirhams ($50) for the crime of “breach of public modesty” and “homosexuality. Discrimination. access to education. allegedly in connection with a protest in the same location by French LGBTI group “Femen” the previous day. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015 United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy. and authorities could not show that they engaged in “indecent behavior.” Sexual orientation and gender identity constituted a basis for societal violence. In one widely publicized case. generally at a local level. and gender identity more openly than in previous years. There was a stigma against LGBTI persons. blackmail. There were reports of societal discrimination. housing. stating that the men were not connected to the protests. or other actions. Authorities prosecuted individuals engaged in same-sex sexual activity at least once during the year. (For more information regarding discrimination against Sahrawis in Moroccancontrolled Western Sahara. or harassment based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The government deems LGBTI orientation or identity illegal. but there were no reports of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in employment.) Acts of Violence. although with reduced frequency. A lack of qualified teachers hindered otherwise expanding Amazigh language education. Human Rights and Labor . The palace-funded Royal Institute of Amazigh Culture created a university-level teacher-training program to eliminate the shortage of qualified teachers. Instruction in the Amazigh language is mandatory for students at the interior ministry’s School for Administrators in Kenitra. see the Department of State’s 2015 Country Reports on Human Rights for Western Sahara. or health care. Media and the public addressed questions of sexuality. sexual orientation. harassment.MOROCCO 33 Tamazight. The men’s attorneys contested the charges.

in June observers filmed a mob of men in Fes attacking a man presumed to be gay. with some restrictions. new draft laws on the right to strike and the right to form and join unions were in process. while urging individuals not to “take matters into their own hands. Worker Rights a. employer and worker representatives should conduct discussions to agree on the wages and employment conditions of unionized workers. Human Rights and Labor . Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015 United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy. Freedom of Association and the Right to Collective Bargaining The constitution provides workers with the rights to form and join unions. The law prohibits antiunion discrimination and prohibits companies from dismissing workers for participating in legitimate union-organizing activities. including members of the armed forces. The law allows several independent unions to exist but requires 35 percent of the total employee base to be associated with a union for the union to be representative and engage in collective bargaining. Courts have the authority to reinstate workers dismissed arbitrarily and may enforce rulings that compel employers to pay damages and back pay. and bargain collectively. HIV and AIDS Social Stigma Persons with HIV/AIDS faced discrimination and had limited treatment options. police.” In a separate incident in September. There were domestic NGOs focused on treating HIV/AIDS patients. police arrested two men in Casablanca for assaulting another man whom they presumed to be gay. Authorities arrested several of the men involved in the beating. they forced him to undress before attempting to blackmail him with threats of showing a video of the assault to his family. According to the labor code. and some members of the judiciary from forming and joining unions and from conducting strikes. strike. Section 7.MOROCCO 34 For example. The law also excludes migrant workers from assuming leadership positions in unions. As a result of 2011 constitutional reforms. however. The law prohibits certain categories of government employees. Reportedly. a July 2 statement by the Ministries of Interior and Justice implied that the victim had violated the law. The Joint UN Program on HIV/AIDS reported that some health-care providers were reluctant to treat persons with HIV/AIDS due to fear of infection. The labor code does not cover domestic workers.

Unions may neither engage in sabotage nor prevent those individuals who were not on strike from working. and other concerns. A strike may not take place over matters covered in a collective contract for one year after the contract comes into force. Human Rights and Labor . The government continued to prove unsuccessful in calling traditional tripartite social dialogue sessions. Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor The law prohibits all forms of forced or compulsory labor. Regulations also required inspectors to serve as mediators in disputes. and there were none during the year. the courts can force the employer to take remedial actions through a court decree. not conducting inspections. The government generally respected freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining. but unions were generally free from government interference. b. prohibits sit-ins. Labor disputes were common and. in some cases.MOROCCO 35 The law concerning strikes requires compulsory arbitration of disputes. Penalties were not sufficient to deter violations. requiring them to spend a significant amount of time in their offices. compensation. Trade unions complained that the government at times used the penal code to prosecute workers for striking and to suppress strikes. Employers limited the scope of collective bargaining. The government has the authority to disperse strikers in public areas not authorized for demonstrations and to prevent the unauthorized occupancy of private space. The government called the last formal social dialogue session in 2012. Under the law unions can negotiate with the government on national-level labor issues. frequently setting wages unilaterally for the majority of unionized and nonunionized workers. At the sectoral level. Enforcement procedures were subject to lengthy delays and appeals. Most union federations strongly allied with political parties. the result of employers failing to implement collective bargaining agreements and withholding wages. Domestic NGOs reported that employers often used temporary contracts to discourage employees from affiliating with or organizing unions. Upon action of the state prosecutor. trade unions negotiated with private employers concerning minimum wage. The government did not adequately enforce labor laws due to a lack of inspection personnel and resources. and allows for the hiring of replacement workers. calls for a 10-day notice of a strike. The government may intervene in strikes. The law penalizes forced adult labor by a fine for the first offense and a jail term of up to three Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015 United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy. Inspectors do not have punitive power so cannot levy fines or other punishments.

These suits included significant indicators of potential trafficking abuses. the High Planning Commission. The Ministry of Employment and Social Affairs is responsible for implementing and enforcing child labor laws and regulations. and the broad geographic dispersion of sites also limited effective enforcement of the law. Some families from rural areas sent girls to work as domestics in urban areas. in nonagricultural work or between 8 p. such as withholding passports or wages.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/. which generally included certain vulnerable groups such as migrant workers and children from rural areas. especially of children.MOROCCO 36 months for subsequent offenses.c.m.c. Boys experienced forced labor as apprentices in the artisan and construction industries and in mechanic shops (see section 7. The law provides for legal sanctions against employers who recruit children under the age of 15. and 6 a. according to the government’s statistical agency. with fines Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015 United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy. occurred (see section 7. mines. Employers confiscated certain migrant workers’ passports and sometimes withheld their wages. employers must give them a break of at least one hour.). The law prohibits children younger than 16 from working more than 10 hours per day.state. The law does not permit children younger than 16 to work between the hours of 9 p. Prohibition of Child Labor and Minimum Age for Employment The minimum age for employment in all sectors is 15. or any other positions the government considers hazardous. Labor laws do not protect domestic workers. Labor inspectors did not inspect small workshops and private homes where the majority of such practices occurred.m. The law prohibits employment of children younger than 18 in stone quarries.m. The law excludes seasonal agricultural work and work in traditional artisanal or handicraft sectors of business with fewer than five employees. The small number of inspectors.). the scarce resources at their disposal. Information on disposition of these cases was not available. Also see the Department of State’s Trafficking in Persons Report at www. as the law does not allow labor inspections in private homes.m. c. Local NGOs reported that an undetermined number of Filipina and Indonesian domestic workers filed suits against their former employers. in agriculture. and 5 a. fishing. The overwhelming majority of child laborers worked in rural areas. Human Rights and Labor . Penalties for forced child labor under the law range from one to three years’ imprisonment. Authorities did not adequately enforce the legislation. Reports indicated that forced labor.

led by the Office of the Director of Work in conjunction with NGOs. and withdrawal or suspension of one or more civil.000 dirhams ($2. and monitor efforts. The plan includes five objectives: strengthening the legal framework and effectiveness of child protection. prosecutors. the implementation of integrated regional systems of child protection. national. Family. national. providing financial assistance to needy families. evaluate. Punishment for violations of the child labor laws includes criminal penalties. According to various reports. and lowering Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015 United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy. police.MOROCCO 37 ranging from 27. and the implementation of reliable and standardized information collection systems to regularly and effectively follow. The Ministry of Employment and Social Affairs.000 to 32. including denial of legal residence in the country for five to 10 years. or family rights. and judges rarely enforced legal provisions on “forced labor in cases involving child domestics. the promotion of social norms protecting children. Authorities successfully prosecuted employers throughout the year for employing a child domestic worker. which it supplanted. chaired by the head of government. and Social Development has responsibility to oversee the plan and coordinate with other involved ministries. The Ministry of Solidarity. Penalties were not sufficient to deter violations.710 to $3. but labor inspectors responsible for enforcing the labor code do not have jurisdiction to inspect private residences. The programs sought to decrease the incidence of child labor by raising awareness of the problem. The government expanded coordination with local. the standardization of structures and practices. This policy was formally adopted on June 3.210). During the year the 51 national labor inspectorates had 53 inspectors trained in child labor issues and designated as a “focal point. civil fines. The ministry did not systematically inspect workplaces or enforce sanctions against child labor. Women. Human Rights and Labor . oversaw programs dealing with child labor. Stakeholders reported limited government coordination on providing services to reintegrate children removed from child labor with many agencies performing overlapping roles that led to gaps in child reintegration.” In 2014 the government launched a “public integrated policy for the protection of children” after a yearlong review by an interministerial committee. and international NGOs on education and training programs to combat child labor during the year.” and few parents of children working as domestics were willing or able to pursue legal avenues likely to provide any direct benefit. and incorporated lessons learned from the 2006-15 National Plan of Action for Children.

light manufacturing. public education was available to migrant children. lodging. Children also worked in hazardous occupations as designated by law. These included fishing and. or employers paid them significantly below the minimum wage. Employers subjected children to the worst forms of child labor. 570 in 2013. Additionally. Authorities removed 26 children under the age of 15 from work and 158 children between the ages of 15 and 18 from hazardous work. Children). mainly in Casablanca. in the informal sector. sometimes as the result of human trafficking. During these visits they made 1.160 children between the ages of seven and 15worked. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015 United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy. Human Rights and Labor . The Ministry of Employment and Social Affairs reported that. particularly in small family-run workshops in the handicraft industry. Also see the Department of Labor’s Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor at www.dol. Some children became apprentices before the age of 12.870 in 2014 and 88. Observers reported noncompliance with child labor laws in agriculture and private urban residences. inspectors conducted 247 visits to different private-sector enterprises. claiming that during the year approximately 59. There was no detailed information available on the collection of fines or on assistance to children identified through inspections. compared with 68. including commercial sexual exploitation. NGOs documented the physical and psychological abuse of children employed as domestic servants. in the first six months of the year (the most recent annualized inspection information available). and carpet weaving.gov/ilab/reports/child-labor/findings. Children’s safety and health conditions and wages were often substandard. During the year the High Planning Commission reported continued reduction in child labor. Employers paid parents for their children’s work.MOROCCO 38 obstacles for at-risk children to attend school. lowering their vulnerability to child labor.196 official “observations” and issued 46 formal notices and 32 trial reports. forced domestic work. Most child domestics received food. in textiles. and clothing instead of monetary compensation. sometimes as the result of human trafficking (see section 6. and forced labor in the production of artisan crafts and construction. where parents sent children as young as age six to work as domestic workers.

MOROCCO 39 d. enabled long working hours. disability. premium pay for overtime. e. trade union affiliation. conduct and labor distribution. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015 United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy. color. replacing full-time workers with temporary workers. and dismissal. religion. The law prohibits excessive overtime. The law provides for equal pay for equal work. or social origin. wage. The law does not address sexual orientation. national ancestry. This program and other legally permissible temporary contracting programs were also subject to abuse. Informal businesses employed approximately 60 percent of the labor force and often ignored minimum wage requirements. vocational training. marital status. Human Rights and Labor .to 48-hour maximum workweek with no more than 10 hours in a single day. workers generally received the equivalent of 13 to 16 months’ salary each year. and paid below the minimum wage.17) per day for agricultural workers. age. wages.17) per day. gender. A temporary contract program (Contracts Anapac) designed to help new entrants into the job market denied young workers many social protections. and minimum conditions for health and safety. disciplinary measures. including a prohibition on night work for women and minors. HIV-positive status or other communicable diseases in this context.10) per day in the industrialized sector and 70 dirhams ($7. who were primarily female citizens. paid public and annual holidays. Including traditional holiday-related bonuses. Discrimination in all categories prohibited by law occurred. gender identity. resulting in a violation or alteration of the principle of equal opportunity or treatment on equal footing regarding employment or the practice of a profession. This was true in particular with regard to recruitment. or conditions of employment. Migrant worker organizations reported that some migrants experienced discrimination in hiring. Discrimination with Respect to Employment and Occupation The labor code prohibits discrimination with respect to employment and occupation on the basis of race. as the government lacked sufficient human and financial resources to enforce these laws effectively. the granting of social benefits. Acceptable Conditions of Work The minimum wage was 108 dirhams ($11. The World Bank established the absolute poverty-level threshold wage as 70 dirhams ($7. The law prohibits the employment of women and youths (between the ages of 15 and 17) in certain occupations that authorities considered hazardous. advances. language. The law provides for a 44. The labor code does not cover domestic workers. political opinion. such as mining.

including working in mines. no major workplace accidents occurred during the year. handling dangerous materials. According to NGOs. Many employers did not observe the legal provisions for conditions of work. The law prohibits persons under the age of 18 from hazardous work in 33 areas. There were. sometimes fatal. The government did not effectively enforce basic provisions of the labor code. Human Rights and Labor . and authorities effectively protected employees in this situation. except for a prohibition on the employment of women and children in certain dangerous occupations. and operating heavy machinery. however. such as payment of the minimum wage and other basic benefits under the National Social Security Fund. Penalties were generally not sufficient to deter violations. numerous media reports of accidents. on construction sites that had substandard standards or lacked safety equipment. workers can remove themselves from situations that endangered health or safety without jeopardy to their employment. but lack of resources prevented effective enforcement of labor laws. The country’s 409 labor inspectors attempted to monitor working conditions and investigate accidents.MOROCCO 40 Occupational health and safety standards. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015 United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy. are rudimentary. reviewed and enforced by the Ministry of Employment and Social Affairs. In the formal sector. transporting explosives.